Obscure even on his home turf, New York Film Festival discovery Jean-Paul Civeyrac chairs the directing department at L’École Nationale Supérieure des Métiers de l’Image et du Son in Paris and, to judge from Through the Forest, makes highly teachable movies. Civeyrac’s moody sixth feature combines genre movie thematics (and B movie frugality) with a bravura narrative structuralism—it’s a deadpan romantic Ghost story unfolding, beyond time and space, over a series of 10 one-shot scenes. Convinced that her dead lover has returned to her, Civeyrac’s bravely obsessed, compulsively babbling protagonist (Camille Berthomier) treads a fine line between the adorable and unbearable. Although most of the film consists of interiors, atmosphere is conjured with constant talk, an uncanny use of mirrors, and the backbeat of thunder that rumbles through the proceedings. Through the Forest is only 65 minutes and only showing once, but you needn’t be clairvoyant to see that Civeyrac will be returning to Lincoln Center.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 20, 2005